Many League of Legends players will claim that the results of a match are determined during the champion select screen. A successful team will boast players with high APM (actions per minute) and vast knowledge of not only their own champion mechanics, but also how they function between their teammates and enemy champions. The developer of League, Riot Games, is a strong proponent of supporting the game as an e-sport and in general, to have the game be played competitively. An element, or more so, a requirement of a successful e-sports team is to master the inner workings of the game, not only the rules, but how your opponents and teammates work within the affordances of the game.
In Western game studies, we are seeing an emergence of a “canon”, games which scholars consider to to be essential playing for understanding the medium. But is this really the case, and are these games worthy of canon? Sure, people will always write about the latest games to keep up with the trend but in academia, are seeing a prominence of certain games written and presented on in the last few years. Social games (World of Warcraft, Second Life…) and e-sports games (Starcraft, League of Legends) aside, it is often Western RPGs which become objects of close reading. Popular series’ such as Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed along with Bioware and Bethesda’s newer games are mainstays of the field, but why?